Former Gilas coach doesn't like Paras training in US
Former Gilas Pilipinas team coach Rajko Toroman believes Kai Sotto and Thirdy Ravena made the smart move of getting playing time in Australia and Japan, respectively, to further improve their game.
Toroman said Sotto, who recently signed with Aussie team Adelaide 36ers, is better off playing in the National Basketball League, citing that he's a better fit for the Australian league.
“It was a great move. In my opinion, it was a great move,” said the Serbian coach in an interview on Nolie Eala's Power & Play.
Prior to signing with the 36sers, Sotto parted ways with Team Ignite of the NBA G League.
“I think that the G League is too strong for this moment for Kai Sotto,” said Toroman.
The Serbian coach added that the G League does not put too much focus on big men since it is largely driven by smaller players.
“I was watching a lot of games looking for the players, that is a league of small players,” he said. “Everybody is looking for the NBA contract. And they don’t give the ball to the big guy too much.”
He expects Sotto's talent to improve in Australia since he will get much playing time against bigger Aussie players.
“I think that was the best move, at this moment, for Kai Sotto, you know, to try to find the confidence in this kind of league. Very strong, very good big guys," he said.
Toroman also said Ravena made the smart choice of extending his contract with San-En Neo Phoenix in the Japan B League.
He said Ravena will learn a great deal from San-En's Serbian coach Branislav Vićentić. The added experience will also benefit Ravena in the long run, he added.
“He’s an extremely athletic player, and these experiences in Japan will help him go to the next level and help with the national team,” said Toroman.
“Even in the first window, he was the best player for the national team against us, scored 23 points, something like that. That’s the best for him.”
Toroman, however, cannot say the same thing for Kobe Paras, who decided to fly to the US to train.
He said the only place a pro player could flourish it the US is either through the NBA G League or the NBA. Paras won't get the benefit of improvement if he remains watching from the sidelines, said Toroman.
“I don’t think that the move of Paras will be that great, because only where you can only play there (in the US) in the G League and the NBA. If you cannot be the main guy, if you’re sitting on the bench, you will not get anything from that,” he opined.
“Individual practice is okay, but just for one month and not for the whole season. You have to play because without playing, you cannot improve."